Standing Still

How does the oak tree with deep roots grow? Upward. My life has been a series of goodbyes. When I think of the word “adventure” I think of something out there. Something far away. Somewhere new, something fresh. Sunshine, the coast, sand, mountains, rolling green hills.

I discovered that an oak tree, standing tall and resolute in the same spot for decades, can have many adventures of its own. The acorn lands where it’s destined to grow. In dark, fertile soil it waits. It sprouts. It matures. Like alchemy it sheds it shell and a root system begins to form. The early makings of a trunk appear, then branches. Before we know it there is a tree where there was once nothing but cold, dark Earth. And the tree looks for the sun, drinks the water it is given, and it grows. The tree does not move. The tree does not uplift its roots and move to warmer, drier climates. The tree does not lament over the greener grass of its sister tree across the way. The tree does not long for a partner. She is happy to live side by side other trees.

Over time, birds find a home in its branches and people appreciate her shade below. The tree survives storms, floods, droughts, snow, and devastating heat and still she grows.

All within the same piece of Earth she found all those years ago as an acorn.

She is standing still.

She still grows.

I’m learning that adventures within can be exhilarating. On the outside I am an oak tree: firmly planted and steady.

But look closer.

The dead limbs that have been shaken away by a summer breeze, the new life that is sprouting at the top, the rings inside – tattoos across my heart of the storms I’ve also endured. I am not left behind. I am an anchor of light and of the Earth.

My adventure is a journey within, timeless and magical. My roots were here before you came, they will have grown stronger when you return. The sun it calls, but the respite you seek is the gift I  bestow to all beings.

Rest assured, you will return.

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